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Ann Oncol. 2018 Apr 1;29(4):1016-1022. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdy033.

European cancer mortality predictions for the year 2018 with focus on colorectal cancer.

Author information

Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.
Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA.
Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (IUMSP), Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.



We projected cancer mortality statistics for 2018 for the European Union (EU) and its six more populous countries, using the most recent available data. We focused on colorectal cancer.

Materials and methods:

We obtained cancer death certification data from stomach, colorectum, pancreas, lung, breast, uterus, ovary, prostate, bladder, leukaemia, and total cancers from the World Health Organisation database and projected population data from Eurostat. We derived figures for France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, the UK, and the EU in 1970-2012. We predicted death numbers by age group and age-standardized (world population) rates for 2018 through joinpoint regression models.


EU total cancer mortality rates are predicted to decline by 10.3% in men between 2012 and 2018, reaching a predicted rate of 128.9/100 000, and by 5.0% in women with a rate of 83.6. The predicted total number of cancer deaths is 1 382 000 when compared with 1 333 362 in 2012 (+3.6%). We confirmed a further fall in male lung cancer, but an unfavourable trend in females, with a rate of 14.7/100 000 for 2018 (13.9 in 2012, +5.8%) and 94 500 expected deaths, higher than the rate of 13.7 and 92 700 deaths from breast cancer. Colorectal cancer predicted rates are 15.8/100 000 men (-6.7%) and 9.2 in women (-7.5%); declines are expected in all age groups. Pancreatic cancer is stable in men, but in women it rose +2.8% since 2012. Ovarian, uterine and bladder cancer rates are predicted to decline further. In 2018 alone, about 392 300 cancer deaths were avoided compared with peak rates in the late 1980s.


We predicted continuing falls in mortality rates from major cancer sites in the EU and its major countries to 2018. Exceptions are pancreatic cancer and lung cancer in women. Improved treatment and-above age 50 years-organized screening may account for recent favourable colorectal cancer trends.


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